This itinerary is all about flowers! In just five days, you will learn how Dutch tulips are grown and sold from the fields and greenhouses to the auction and local floating flower markets. Experience how tulips are lovingly displayed at the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens, the largest flower park in the world, and learn about the rich history of tulips and their value in Dutch culture at the Tulip Museum. As no Dutch itinerary would be complete without a bicycle ride, we have also incorporated cycling with an e-bike into a portion of this itinerary. Please note that the suitable travel period for this trip is the months of March, April, and May. In these months flower bulb fields burst into rows of vivid colors: a delight for the eye. Chances to see the most tulips are best in mid-April.

Highlights

  • Visit the largest tulip garden in the world
  • Explore Amsterdam from the water on a private canal cruise
  • Cycle among the tulips
  • Feel the tension of the flower auction

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Amsterdam Arrival and Flower Market Amsterdam
Day 2 Amsterdam - Uithoorn, Flower Art Museum Uithoorn
Day 3 Uithoorn - Noordwijk, Flower Auction and Keukenhof Noordwijk
Day 4 Beach Day in Noordwijk Noordwijk
Day 5 Noordwijk - Amsterdam, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Amsterdam Arrival and Flower Market

Welcome to the lowlands! After arrival at Amsterdam airport you will have 2 options: to take a 15-minute train ride to your hotel in Amsterdam or alternatively, you can choose to be met by a taxi outside the airport which will take you to your hotel (30-60 minutes, depending on traffic). 

Your hotel is located in the city center, which is an amazing labyrinth of canals and small streets, dotted with old houses and buildings. The center of Amsterdam is pretty small, so most places can be easily reached on foot or by bike. For longer distances, you can take public transport or a taxi. We will arrange a pass for each day in case you would like to use public transport.

Kick-off your exploration of Dutch flower culture with a private cruise through Amsterdam's characteristic canals. From the canal close to your hotel you will be picked up by a small private open boat. Viewing the city by boat on the canals is a great way to see Amsterdam from a different perspective! 

After about 2 hours, the boat will drop you off along the Singel canal, which is the scene of a colorful floating flower market. The market here dates from 1862, when flower growers would sail their wares on barges into the city center via the Amstel River. The modern-day market is composed of fixed barges & stalls. Be it tulips, daffodils, violets, peonies, or orchids, you’re sure to find your favorite seeds and bulbs at the Flower Market, no matter the time of year.

A 15-minute stroll along the canals will take you to the Amsterdam Tulip Museum. Although small, the museum packs in plenty of interesting history. You will learn about the 17th century ‘Tulip Mania’, when tulips (bulbs) became a currency at times worth more than gold, but also more recent history including how bulbs were eaten during the war years to survive.

After your visit, you will make your way back to your hotel, or if you have some time left, you could consider visiting the Anne Frank House, which is right across the canal from the Tulip Museum. This museum is built around the actual secret annex where Anne Frank and her family hid for over two years during WWII until their tragic discovery and arrest. 

In the evening, it’s easy to find yourself a good restaurant in the city center. We recommend the neighborhoods of De Pijp and the Jordaan.

Day 2: Amsterdam - Uithoorn, Flower Art Museum

After a relaxed breakfast, a private taxi will pick you up to take you 30 minutes south to the beating heart of the flower bulb industry, Uithoorn/Aalsmeer. The area you will reach today is called de Bollenstreek by the Dutch, or Flower Bulb Region. Wedged between the bustling cities of the west, this unique landscape of seemingly endless fields with colorful flowers bursts to life in spring.

At your hotel in Uithoorn, e-bikes will be ready and waiting for you so you can explore in true Dutch fashion. In the afternoon, try the bikes out with a short ride to nearby Aalsmeer, about 4 miles (6 km) from your hotel. Here you will visit the Flower Art Museum on the edge of the Westeinderplassen (lake), an art museum that has one special theme: flowers and plants. When leaving the museum, have a peek at the impressive water tower - can’t be missed. You could consider having lunch at a waterfront restaurant along the lake. It’s also possible to take a boat tour on the Westeinderplassen. 

From April onwards, you can opt to include an additional stop at the Historische Tuin Aalsmeer, a historic garden which is in fact a living museum. While listening to the audio tour and strolling around the flower beds and vegetable gardens, you will learn about ancient greenhouses, old cultivation methods, and much more. The waterfront cafe here is a good spot for a cup of tea or lunch.

In the evening, find yourself a restaurant to have dinner. There are several options close to or along the Amstel river that are recommended.

Day 3: Uithoorn - Noordwijk, Flower Auction and Keukenhof

Rise and shine! Wake up bright and early, eat breakfast, and cycle the approximately 4 miles (6 km) down to the flower auction, which is at its liveliest in the early morning hours! You’re welcome inside the actual auction building where you can see small trains packed with the freshest flowers, ready to be sent all over the world. Bids are on in the center, and you can really feel the tension here while the clock ticks!  Incredible amounts of flowers and other plants pass through the auction. In the visitors’ center, you can learn more about the auction.

You will continue by cycle from the auction building through flower heaven towards your destination, Noordwijk. After about one and a half hours of easy cycling from Uithoorn/Aalsmeer, you will encounter your next experience: the surreal flower gardens of Keukenhof. Every spring, the park opens to display its glorious 7 million flowers! The flower beds are a stunning sight.

After your visit, or in the park, you can have lunch and get ready for the last stretch of cycling. Bike through the agricultural landscape, stopping along the way to take in the sights and snap some photos of the bright flower fields. Along the road, you might also find small stalls selling the fresh flowers and bulbs straight from the fields (usually cash only). 

After roughly half an hour from Keukenhof, you will see the landscape change as you reach the coast of the North Sea. Here the landscape is dominated by sand dunes, and you might even encounter deer along the way. Your hotel is located in the beachside town of Noordwijk aan Zee. The total length of the cycle trip from Uithoorn is about 26 miles (42km). Check in and relax. If you have some energy left, take an evening beach walk.

Day 4: Beach Day in Noordwijk

After a busy day yesterday, why not take it easy? It’s a holiday, after all. Enjoy a relaxed breakfast in your hotel, and start today’s adventure whenever you feel ready. We suggest a nice beach walk. Just inland from where you will be walking, the sand of the surrounding dunes was dug out as early as the 16th century to expand cities and build railway tracks. The remaining soil, the geestgronden, proved eminently suitable for cultivating tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. The gentle maritime climate also favored flower growing, making this area the flower bulb hotspot. As today you will stay close to the coast, you can explore the remaining sand dunes as long as you’d like: a unique landscape indeed!

Be sure to bring a windproof jacket, as the wind can be strong here in the spring months. Sometimes by the end of April, Holland already enjoys some summery days, so it might be smart to pack sunscreen and sunglasses as well. Nothing is as unpredictable as the Dutch weather!

After a refreshing walk, enjoy a drink or meal in one of the beachside cafes and restaurants.

Day 5: Noordwijk - Amsterdam, Depart

A private taxi will pick you up to take you back to Amsterdam, or to Schiphol Airport for your flight home or onward to your next destination.

Map

Map of Flower Tour of Holland - 5 Days
Map of Flower Tour of Holland - 5 Days